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The term ‘Heroin Chic’ is a step back several years in womens rights


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The term ‘Heroin Chic’ has been used for decades to describe women’s bodies, particularly those who are especially tall and skinny. Heroin chic was a body type that was often glorified in the 1990s, with pale skin, dark under eyes, and emaciated features, a look that was often achieved by models who put themselves through eating disorders and addiction issues. While we have advanced as a society in many ways since the 90s apparently our narrative around women’s bodies hasn’t changed at all. We still feel like we can put arbitrary labels on women and liken them to people who have serious addiction issues. Not only minimizing women in every single way but also glorifying an issue as serious as heroin addiction, this is demonstrates our nihalistic approach to womens beauty and the medias inability to comphrend that being a women with a body that moves, dances and lives is not a trend and certainly cannot be compared to a dangerous addciton.

While the ideas behind heorin chic were created and perpetuated by supermodels in the 1990s, who supported a toxic diet culture and drug abuse that lead to extreme weight loss, it’s unfair to place the blame for this beauty standard and its popularity. It isn’t the 19 or 23 year old supermodel who has created a patricharal society that tells woemn that how you feel and how healthy you are will never be more important than how you look. It wasn’t these women that created such a toxic beauty industry that anorexia within the industry was expected rather than discoruged. It is too easy to point at women like Bella Hadid who have slimmer figures and state that they are the reason for this resurgence in popularity of Heorin chic, and while magazines, newspapers, and even other celebrites will find their accusing fingure pointing a the Kardashians, and as crazy as it sounds it isnt their fault either.

Ths unhealthy obsession we as a society have with womens apperances has lead to the creatinon of arbitrary labels, such as heorin chic, slim thick, and boxy. Perhaps if we accept that just like men, womens bodies are unique at every stretch mark, blemish , bruise and curve then maybe women could learn how to accept that their beauty lies in their individuality. The continued support and attention to individuals and companies who clearly objectify and demean women is the inherent problem we as a society face. The need to conform, to feel as though we fit into this impossible and unhealthy beauty standard is not the result of Kim Kardahsians dramatic 16 pound weightloss, it is the direct product of everyday people believing that these insane labels still have a place within our society. We can preach body positivity and learn to love ourselves for years but we cannot continue to accuse famous women of being villains in a story that has only ever written them as victims.

It is about time that we understand that the real enemy is not an Instagram model that edits her photos, but rather the media outlets that take an uneditied photo and out every flaw she has tried so desperately to hide. The root of the problem doesn’t lie in heorien chic supermodels, but it lies within ourselves, as we continue tosupport organizations that coninulesy bring women down. And its time to change that.

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